Ever wondered why Billboarding is a bi-weekly feature? Well, here's your answer: the charts don't change all that often. If we tried to do this every week, we'd wind up looking at the same songs over and over again; really, the only playlists that move around with any kind of regularity are the country stations', which is why we always look forward to Hot Country week. The music? Eh, we could live without it. Jeez, country fans, how many songs about daddies and daughters can you take? (Answer: quite a few, apparently.)
1. Carrie Underwood, “All-American Girl” (Arista Nashville)
It’s filled with every one of the 31 standard flavors from the FM country corn-fried piffle bar, but “All-American Girl” ain’t half bad – and even if it were, it wouldn’t matter much; Miss Underwood could take three minutes of her own belching into the Top 10 at this point. As long as her videos continue to rely on her own overwhelming cuteness, Carrie should stay golden. Settle in for the long haul, America.
2. Alan Jackson, “Small
Town Southern Man” (Arista Nashville)
Speaking of the long haul, holy crap, here’s Alan Jackson with his 145,000th country Top 10 hit. Wait, did we just accuse “All-American Girl” of lacking substance? Because this is as light as a feather – and even better, it’s a solid four and a half minutes of pandering to Jackson’s target demographic. He could have sent each of his fans five bucks and it would have had a similar effect. But hey, you can’t fault an old pro for doing what he does best, right?
3. Kenny Chesney with George Strait, “Shiftwork”
It’s tempting to mock Kenny “Turtle” Chesney for singing “Shiftwork,” seeing as how he was a frat boy who released his first album at the age of 21 and graduated college with a degree in advertising – but hell, if three-fourths of all gangsta rap can be sold by guys who grew up in the suburbs, there’s no reason Chesney can’t get away with the country equivalent. Having said that, we hate this song.
Rodney Atkins, “Cleaning
This Gun (Come On In Boy)” (Curb)
The last time we looked at this chart, this song was at Number 10, which was where we imagined (hoped?) it would peak – but no, it’s still hanging around, still a spot behind Turtle, still just as dumb as it was back in January. Of course, there probably aren’t many fathers in America who haven’t felt this way at some point, so its success isn’t hard to understand. (Easier to understand than the Declaration of Independence, anyway – at least as far as Rodney’s concerned.)
5. Trace Adkins, “You’re
Gonna Miss This” (Capitol Nashville)
In which the tender soul behind the heart-wrenching “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” educates us all on how important it is to stop and smell the roses every once in awhile. Life moves so fast, you know, especially when you’re hawking your second greatest hits compilation with an appearance on “Celebrity Apprentice.”
6. Chuck Wicks, “Stealing
So, to sum up, this week’s country Top 10 has a Carrie Underwood song about a guy who wanted a son but who wound up wrapped around his daughter’s little finger, a Rodney Atkins song about an over-protective dad who once dealt with his wife’s over-protective dad, and this Chuck Wicks song about a guy who realizes the woman he’s marrying will always be her daddy’s little girl. Sensing a theme here, folks? If you answered “yes,” then you just might have what it takes to be a country songwriter.
Chris Cagle, “What
Kinda Gone” (Capitol Nashville)
In an effort to reverse his recent sales slide, Cagle’s manager talked him into recording an album of songs written entirely by other songwriters, one of which was this little number about a man so stupid he can’t even tell if the back door is slamming shut because of the wind or his wife leaving him. Instant hit!
8. George Strait, “I
Saw God Today” (MCA Nashville)
After 27 years, 25 studio albums, and more than 68 million records sold, this single’s #19 debut gives George Strait the highest chart entry of his career, which is incredible for all sorts of reasons that we won’t even bother to go into here. Just sit back and bask in the glow of the King of Country.
9. Jason Aldean, “Laughed
Until We Cried” (Broken Bow)
Aldean’s got a nice enough voice, and the song’s love-your-family-while-you-got-‘em message is worthwhile, if totally overdone; what we can’t stop asking ourselves, though, is what kind of idiot puts on boots and a cowboy hat for a stroll along the beach?
James Otto, “Just
Got Started Lovin’ You” (Warner Bros.)
Otto’s earlier releases sold poorly enough to get him dropped by Mercury, but now that he’s a member of the MuzikMafia founded by Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson, you can bet his chart fortunes have only just begun to turn around. His soap opera-star looks, this song’s horndog lyrics, and the presence of a model-pretty girl in her underwear in the video certainly will not hurt.